Posted on: August 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Robert Goodman, a 56-year old history teacher who has taught at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School for 23 years, one day unexpectedly learned that had stage 3 colon cancer.

CNN reports that the Florida public school teacher realized he’d need at least an additional 20 sick days to accommodate his chemotherapy…days he did not have.

So on July 23, in a room at Tomsich Health and Medical Center of Palm Beach County, Robert took a selfie and posted it on Facebook. (see caption text below)


Robert Goodman’s Cry For Help:

“Urgent Help Now: Battling Cancer Chemo: I work at Palm Beach Gardens High School -I’m looking into a catastrophic leave of absence by the school district, but I’m short 20 days sick days to qualify for that.

Already used 38 days this year already which is all I had left as I was sick a couple of years ago and used about two weeks. If I can get 20 more sick days from any teacher or district employee volunteers that would allow me to take more time to recover in battle through chemo for 12 weeks which should be enough time for me to complete at least the treatment so if any of my teacher friends are out there spread the word for me I would appreciate it thank you so much.

You can email Human Resources to to donate. If not I’ll be reporting back to work on August 6 and I will never have another opportunity to apply for the leave of absence. Thank you all either way for your support during this time in my life.”

A Remarkable Response

Within four days of this post, Robert had enough sick days to cover a WHOLE semester. Robert says that teachers and other staff members transferred 75 sick days his way.

“Educators all over the country were reaching out to me to donate their sick days, even professors over at Florida Atlantic University…I couldn’t believe it happened so fast”

When asked if he was surprised by their generosity, Robert says:

“I wasn’t surprised that teachers were giving. Teachers are always giving all the time when one of their own needs help they’ll always step up.”

How is Robert Doing Now?

Classes started on August 13th. But for now, Robert isn’t there as he expects he’ll be on chemo until at least Halloween. He plans to give back any of the sick days he doesn’t use during his recovery.


Robert who is a teacher by day and singer-songwriter by life, says the support from students has also helped keep him motivated and is working on songs with hopes to use his experience to inspire more good in humanity.

“Anybody can get cancer, but not everyone is willing to help, we all have it in us, but it’s good to get back in touch with our compassion.” – Robert

Once again, faith in humanity is restored!

(1) Hardiman, J. (2018, August 15). Teacher Battling Cancer Runs Out Of Sick Days, School Employees Give Him Theirs. Retrieved from
(2) Lee, L. (2018, August 15). A teacher battling cancer ran out of sick days. School employees showered him with theirs. Retrieved from
(3) Staff, N. (2018, August 15). Co-workers donate sick days to teacher who ran out of his while battling cancer. Retrieved from
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